Business Development

Social media planning for successful businesses

By Hatredge Masawi

Everyone is selling something nowadays and one of the interesting things is you see messages and posts flying left, right and centre on social media. Successful businesses know very well that content and the way you put across your information on social media helps in captivating customers to want to know more about the products and services you are offering and eventually buy. The beauty of social media is that you create products and services that will sell themselves if you play your cards well.

In this article, I will focus on key areas that every business should know if they want to build lasting and successful businesses. Once you start engaging with social media be it you a starting up, or you have been in business for a while you will realize that it helps to get organized. Putting together a serious plan for how you want to invest in social media will really help.

THE BENEFITS OF CREATING A PLAN FOR SOCIAL MEDIA

Unless if you want to keep posting and not getting results its important to understand that social media means a lot of work. You can find yourself lost and clueless if you don’t have a plan. It’s not easy to create content and design flyers that are captivating, it’s not easy to keep everything up to date, reply and interact with all your connections, or come up with a steady stream of ideas for unique, interesting things to be posting all the time across a number of different networks.

The key is to sit down and sketch out a formal plan for what you want to post, when you want to post it, where it makes sense to post, and even who at your business should be posting.

A few businesses have it all planned well and keep abreast with social trends and hashtags that their business is noticed so easily and get responses on social media. Because of the nature of a business setups certain corporates or small business enterprises engage an external Consultant or rather employ a digital marketing personnel because if you just assume that you’ll have enough free time to come up with creative, compelling posts you will end up disappointed. Life gets in the way, other things take priority and, without a plan, your social pages might end up being silent for too long, or your posts might be lower quality, because you’re feeling pinched for time.

It’s true that any given business needs a good marketing strategy and a good sales plan, just as much as it also needs a good and sound social media plan. If you are a small business entity you will find yourself reposting the same advert and information that gets monotonous and customers will get bored just by seeing your advert. That is why a good social media strategy deserves just as much careful thought and planning as any other type of marketing.

What should a social media plan look like? I will share things to consider as you write down your plan.

CREATE YOUR CONTENT

Sit down and draft everything that you want your customers to know about your products and services and HOW you want to portray about your business. For example, look at your products, your competition and how you can do it differently

CREATE A CALENDAR

You need to determine how long you want to run certain adverts and campaigns. Time period is key because it helps you to know if the content or adverts has brought results. In this time period you also need to sketch out details like what topics or pictures you want to post. Consider also what your audience is interested in and what they want to hear? Wouldn’t it be great if you could block out a day in your calendar, write up all the things you’d like to post for the next six months, and then queue them up so they automatically get shared when you’re ready?

You will realize key critical but very overlooked points in posting your social media content. You need to consider what time of the day, week or month depending on the products. Whether you post daily, hourly, or weekly, laying out your calendar will help make sure you’re consistent in your sharing. Ask yourself this Question. When does it make sense to post about those topics?

WHAT TO POST

What to post is a great start, but you also have to consider where you should be posting. For example, if you’re sharing some awesome pictures of the new line of dresses that just came into your shop, that might be a great update to share on social sites like Instagram or Pinterest. On the other hand, if you want to share a special offer for your biggest fans, you might share that with your connections on Facebook or Google+ instead. Where to post is a topic for another day but that knowledge is key, wonder why certain posts do not attract customers. Certain platforms have certain audiences and what you share on the platforms will determine the success of your social media plan.

One of the biggest mistakes’ businesses make on social media is random posting. It is always important to understand which business goals are these posts meant to support? If social media is all about raising awareness for you, make sure your posts are designed to do that. On the other hand, if social media is more of a way for you to create good relationships with your existing customers, your posts are going to look quite different. There’s no right or wrong approach, but again: make sure you know why you’re sharing what you’re sharing.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?

Finally, I know I touched a bit on making sure your business has someone who is responsible for posting and managing your social media platforms. This will help you keep a tab on progress and will help make sure you can follow through. Some hire external consultants but some have inhouse personnel’s but either of the two the points I shared above remain consistent to each and every business success on social media.

 Once you’ve got all these tasks spread out across a calendar for the next several weeks or months, it’s much easier to see how you’re going to tackle the brave new world of social media. Social media takes some work and dedication if you want to have real success.

Putting together a detailed plan will help you take your business to the next level, now you are on your way to conquering social media and build up your business.

HATREDGE MASAWI (DIGITAL MARKETER, SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIST, ENTREPRENUER)

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende